Step aside, Craftsman wrenches, Kenmore dryers, and dowdy Lands' End cardigans: Sears has taken the wraps off its Kardashian Kollection, and is making a splash with the new Annie Liebovitz-shot ad campaign.
The clothing line, backed by reality stars Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, went on sale Aug. 25 in about 700 Sears stores around the country, including store-within-a-store set-ups in 400 Sears units. Aimed at young women, it includes dresses, tops, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie, priced from $14 to $99.
The clothing is meant to include "Kim's glamorous red-carpet looks, Kourtney's more Bohemian chic vibe and Khloe's rocker style," the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company, says in its release, and the line was created in partnership with Australian designer Bruno Schiavi's Jupi International. In addition to the Liebovitz-shot print ads, marketing includes national TV and in-store appearances.
The Kardashians' star is still rising, between Kim's recent wedding and the never-ending sex tape hubbub. After five seasons, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" continues to rank as the highest-rated and most-watched series in E!'s history, with about 3.5 million viewers per episode. (Kim also made retail news earlier this summer when she sued Old Navy for using a lookalike model in its TV ads.)
At Sears, however, things are looking even bleaker than usual. After posting a larger-than-expected quarterly loss a few weeks ago, the chain announced more job cuts at headquarters (just two months after the last round), and reported that sales at its domestic Sears stores fell 1.2%.
Acknowledging the results as disappointing, Lou D'Ambrosio, Sears Holdings' CEO. said that exclusive brands -- including the Kardashian Kollection -- are part of its strategy to get shoppers back inside Sears. (Its Kmart unit is launching Sofia, an exclusive collection from Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara.)